tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC January 29, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
i brought my big boots to your wisdom and it worked out well. >> nice to see you here. >> you too, guys. >> good morning, i'm ali velshi. >> and i'm stephanie ruhle. thrilled to be back here with my partner here in washington, d.c. it is monday, january 29th, let's get you started. tomorrow night he's going to deliver his first state of the union address as commander in chief. >> a senior administration official says the president will tout gains in the economy, while also calling on congress to pass a trillion dollar infrastructure package and immigration reform. >> i think you're going to talk about the fact that america is open for business. >> the president is going to speak to the whole country. he's going to speak to democrats. we want them to support our infrastructure plan. >> the president will deliver tuesday's speech with a number of controversies looming. democrats and even some republicans expressing support for legislation to protect special counsel robert mueller. >> it certainly wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place given the late egs stories. >> i don't think there's a need
for legislation right now to protect mueller. >> lawmakers seem ready to clash over this controversial memo about justice department and fbi. the house intelligence committee meets today at 5:00. >> the president will make a decision. the president hasn't seen it. >> this is such a ham-fisted setup to undermine rod rosen stein so they can fire him and appoint somebody who can fire mueller. >> it's all about treating the justice department as an extension of the trump tower security force. >> the white house, not weighing in on whether the president will address one of the biggest cultural flash points, the me too movement. >> no, i wouldn't say i'm a feminist. i mean i think that would be maybe going too far. i'm for women, i'm for men, i'm for everyone. >> the powerful and politically charged performance. this year's show also had a message. ♪ you brought the flames and you put me through hell ♪ ♪ i had to learn how to fight for myself ♪ >> we come in peace, but we mean business.
and to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words, time's up. >> we remember that this country was built by d.r.e.a.m.ers, for d.r.e.a.m.ers, chasing the american dream. >> a critical week for president trump beginning today as he prepares to give his first state of the union address. the white house says president trump will strike a bipartisan tone with a message of unity tomorrow night. the theme, building a safe, strong and proud america. his aides say he's going to focus on five main policy points. >> the economy, jobs, how both have grown in the past year. trade, just days ago in davos he called for fair and reciprocal trade practices, and he'll talk about immigration reform. trump is expected to push his
plan to fix daca which gives a path to citizenship for d.r.e.a.m.ers in exchange for $25 billion for the wall and border security. and infrastructure. aides say he'll ask democrats to support his trillion dollar plan to fix the nation's highways, bridges, roads and airports. >> plus national security. he released his strategy last month revealing how the united states is zeroing in on missile threats from north korea and iran. after the speech, president trump will break from tradition, surprise, surprise, deciding he will not take his message on the road. we were expecting to hear from the president in just a few minutes. he's scheduled to swear in the new health and human services secretary at the white house and we'll bring that to you live. we have a great team with us. joining us, our dear friend jose diaz-balart, former nypd commissioner and msnbc counterterrorism analyst, bill bratton. cnbc editor at large john harwood and pbs news hour's
newest addition, yamiche alcindor. the president loves to say over and over the economy is better than it has been in decades. here's why this is a flawed argument. one year ago the president trashed barack obama right, left and center. while we did face a financial crisis nine years ago, we've been on a steady climb since then. president trump and his policies have been good for business but how can he possibly make the argument that now the economy is better than it's been in decades. that wasn't what he said a year ago. >> well, the president, we've seen, will say pretty much anything, okay? the economy is better than it was a year ago. and the question is how long does it stay better? the tax cut is likely to give us a boost this year. we're already at a very mature lengthy recovery. we're near full employment. we will get stimulus from the tax cut, a couple hundred billion dollars, but that will
also increase the deficit, could raise interest rates, increase inflation, and that could set the stage to a recession later on. >> jose, let's talk about the d.r.e.a.m.ers. this is central to the president's message at this point. he has been at various times advocates for d.r.e.a.m.ers and their biggest nightmare. democrats are inviting a number of d.r.e.a.m.ers to be their guests at the speech. what can he say or should he say to try and move this forward and not further confuse his position as it relates to these undocumented immigrants who are forced to come to the united states? >> ali, i think over the past week or so we have been seeing a tightening of what the president really wants on immigration, and remember that meeting that was televised and the fiasco when durbin and graham went to see him. it's very clear that the president wants those four points, right? he wants, yes, legalization of the d.r.e.a.m.ers, but also $25
billion guaranteed for the wall, an end of family unification as it's been known since 1965 here and the end to visa lottery, lottery visas. so how do you find common ground when you're asking for $25 billion guaranteed, something the democrats say they're not willing to give him, and at the same time we're talking about that every single day 120 d.r.e.a.m.ers lose their daca. by the 5th of march, just over a month from now, daca ceases to exist. so are we going to have 800,000 people who have come out from out of the shadows, registered, let people know who they are and where they are, are we going just say you guys are done? even though up been here all your life, brought here through no fault of your own, we're going to get you out of here to a country you don't know? how do you find common ground when time is just running out? >> ali velshi, i ask you, we've
got daca recipients losing work permits every day. some people will say, listen, the $25 billion for the wall and border security it's not really a wall, it's a metaphor. the president himself and in campaign literature said it's not a fence, it's a wall. how could team trump possibly ask the country, ask d.r.e.a.m.ers, trust us here when we're living in a time of absolutely no trust. two weeks ago he shuck chuck schumer's hand and said we've got a deal until stephen miller walked his little feet in there. >> and this continues to be a tough one because so many americans believe in doing something for the d.r.e.a.m.ers. i want to bring bill bratton into this, former nypd commissioner. commissioner, donald trump ties this to safety, right? he continues to talk about immigrants as being a danger to americans, undocumented immigrants being a danger, but in fact when it comes to america's safety and the things that the president needs to be talking about the nation about, immigration is not really part of that topic. >> well, the wall is intended or
what would pass for a wall is intended to do a number of things. one, try to significantly impede the flow of illegal narcotics into the country as well as other goods. immigration ironically has been going down dramatically in terms of illegal immigration. last year there was 300,000 appe 1.3. so that's been going down dramatically for a variety of reasons. it might be beneficial more beneficial stopping the flow of a lot of the drugs coming into the country. >> yamiche, let's talk trade. president trump and his own administration aren't even on the same page. they pull out of tpp, he calls nafta a disaster. you've got wilbur ross saying we've been giving it away since 1945 and gary cohn's side of the
house saying nafta, maybe parts of it have to be improved. in the speech on friday president trump throws tpp out there. he said we're going to leave it but negotiate better terms. nothing has happened. tpp and trade have marched on without us. >> and trade is one of the large pillars that really president trump can thank for his large win. across the midwest while people were talking about jobs and other things, the name recognition of nafta in michigan, in pennsylvania was overwhelming. there's this idea that people really expect him to renegotiate america's position in the world and that that is going actually impact their daily lives. people think that their jobs in steel mills and other things that have in a large way been automated are coming back because china has been the person to blame on that. one of the biggest things that are going on right now is a war of words with the european union of all places. the president has hinted that he was going to retaliates for unfair tactics and the eu said try it. so we're in a position where the president apart from being not
on the same page as his own cabinet, you also have him arguing with our allies over trade. >> okay. but then how about his own economic advisor, gary cohn, in cnn today talks about this administration and how they're embracing innovation. you can't possibly be the administration that embraces innovation and embraces jobs of the past paubecause that's exac what president trump does. >> look, here's the fundamental reality about the argument that trade deals are the reason that we have problems for blue collar workers in the midwest. it's not true. it is true that the globalization of the economy, mobility of global capital is something that has weighed on blue collar workers. but that is an unstoppable force. there is not going to be a renegotiation that reverses those things. as yamiche just indicated, a lot of this is also technology, which is reducing the amount of workers required in manufacturing, even if manufacturing comes back, and it
is coming back in the united states. >> right. >> so nobody should hold their breath thinking that there is going to be a dramatic improvement in their lives because of a new nafta. nobody should think that of a rejoining of tpp, which is not going happen because as you mention, the other countries in tpp without us have gone ahead. >> and this is a speech that justin trudeau made last week at davos. jose, we did see what can happen if somebody doesn't write a speech full of things that are going to get the president tripped up, like they did in davos. he didn't really step on himself. it wasn't a great speech but it certainly didn't do any damage. what does success look like to you for the president's state of the union tomorrow night? >> oh, boy, that's a great question. i'll be there with you all tomorrow in d.c. i think that success is outlining principles that could possibly be something that both parties could agree on. infrastructure is one. i just want to bring this up.
the wall, tpp, nafta. this is not something that has come into president trump's mind since the 20th of january. he campaigned on these issues. the fact that we are in a time right now when d.r.e.a.m.ers are looking at the possibility of being deported to a country they don't know, 5th of march, 5th of march, when he's been very clear that that's something he wanted to see end during the campaign, i think that it's important that tomorrow and in the remainder of the weeks that we have, we try to see if something can be achieved, because these are human beings. >> but it's also stunning politico had with regard to the president's state of the union said he just needs to be normal. what is normal? if any other head of state gave a speech in davos and you were there and they didn't take the opportunity to address artificial intelligence, income inequality, technology, the refugee crisis, we would be slaying them because we're living in a world of trump,
we're saying, well, he didn't trip. >> not only that, the me too movement and everything going on as it relates to the treatment of women was a massive theme throughout there, again not something that the president focused on. commissioner bratton, i want to ask you about some things we're hearing that the trump's national security team is considering nationalizing a super fast 5g network in order to counter china's threat to us through cyber security. do you know anything about this? >> only what i've heard recently the last several days about that, the idea of trying to increase the security of the national intelligence networks. what i was intrigued about was the idea, however, that they would in fact then share that 5g with the various u.s. firms, with the significant exception of china. so i don't have much in the way of details on that. i'm intrigued by it and will be looking more closely at that myself. >> commissioner, thanks very much. thanks to you. thanks to jose diaz-balart.
john harwood always good to see you and nice to have you here in person. same to you, yamiche. >> it's nice to have you back here in person. >> davos missed you, as you know. >> thank you. well, new york missed you. you know what, you needed a hat there. this guy all week needed a hat. >> please don't say that, my mother is watching and this is just fuel on the fire. the gop is divided on protecting robert mueller and his russia investigation. >> we'll have more on this mysterious memo that some republicans are using to undermine the mueller probe and the house intel committee could decide to release that memo as soon as today. >> we are watching the white house. a lot going on today. in just a few minutes, health and human services secretary, the new one, alex azar, will be sworn in. we'll bring that to you live. i still want to know, has tom price paid back all that money he said he was going to for those airplanes? just because he doesn't have the job doesn't mean he doesn't owe the money. you're watching "velshi & ruhle"
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welcome back to v"velshi & ruhle." we're live obviously in washington with several new developments in the russia investigation. >> this morning a secret memo is fueling a heated bipartisan fight. house intelligence committee chairman, devin nunes, remember, the one i thought he recused himself through this whole russia thing. i guess not. he and his staff drafted the
memo. republicans who have seen it says it reveals abuses by the fbi and justice department related of course to the ongoing russia investigation. but democrats who have seen it say the facts are cherry picked and it is just another attempt to undermine the fbi. >> i haven't seen it, we haven't seen it. this morning democrats and even some republicans are expressing support for legislation to protect the special counsel, robert mueller, in the wake of reports that president trump wanted to fire him last june. >> i've got legislation protecting mr. mueller and i'll be glad to pass it tomorrow. >> it certainly wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place, given the latest stories. >> i don't think there's a need for legislation right now to protect mueller. if there's an issue that arise, we'll take it up at that time. right now there's not an issue so why create one when there isn't a place for it. >> joining us now is nbc news intelligence and national security reporter ken dilanian. two separate issues going on
right now. one is this issue of legislation to protect mueller, but the other is this memo. i've been away, as you know, traveling back from switzerland. tell me what the developments are with respect to memo that has not been distributed. >> welcome to d.c., though. >> only tell ali, though. i'm going to go like this. >> the important news on this memo is "the new york times" is reporting that it shows that rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, approved a renewal of surveillance on a trump aide, carter page, this spring after the trump team had taken office. now, the republicans are going use that and say that rosenstein behaved improperly. this is all part of a corrupt and biased investigation. but what this shows to me is that the justice department was able to convince a federal judge that they had probable cause to show that carter page was a russian agent into the trump administration. and the other thing to understand about this, guys, it's extraordinary that we're even talking about this highly classified fisa process. republican lawmakers are talking openly about things that are very secret and democrats are very disturbed by this.
>> what kind of can of worms does it open if this type of memo is released? does that not set the precedent for simply letting it all go? russia and other adversaries must be like bring it on, we'd love to know what you have in there. >> it would be extraordinary. it's also extraordinary that the justice department has asked for a copy of this memo and they have been denied. >> why would they be deinside? this is jeff sessions justice department. >> chosen by the president of the united states. >> a huge president trump supporter. >> so what house republicans say is we're investigating them. so we're not going to give them a copy of our investigative document. but there's classification issues here. the executive branch is the one -- they're the ones who decide what the secrets are, not the legislative branch, so it would be extraordinary if the house voted to release this memo and the president signed off on that without any review by career officials who can tell us how damaging this might be. >> so the justice department doesn't want this released, the white house seems to want it released. >> the white house claims the president hasn't read it. guess what, he could easily be
briefed on it. threading that needle doesn't work in this house. >> so republicans at large and democrats at large, where do they stand? >> many house republicans are calling for the release and democrats are saying it would be a terrible idea. they're preparing their own memo because they say in addition to it being damaging, it's also highly misleading and gives a bad picture of this investigation. so they're preparing their own secret memo to counter this republican memo. >> can we go back to new york, it's so much easier to understand. >> cherry picking. >> this town is complicated. all right, ken, thank you very much. any minute now guess what's happening at the white house? the next secretary of the health and human services department, alex azar, will be sworn in by president trump. i said it before the last commercial break, i'll say it again. anyone who is there who gets to ask a question to the president, i want to know is tom price paying back the dough for his private plane? answer the question. president trump was asked if he believes in climate change in an interview with british journalist piers morgan. he said, quote, there is a
cooling and there is a heating. look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. that wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place. the ice caps were going to melt. they were going to be gone by now but now they're setting records. >> what records? what records are these ice caps -- >> kilimanjaro is full again. >> does he mean the iceberg that was the size of massachusetts that fell off earlier this year? he goes on to say, ready for this, quote, this is our president, now they're at a record level. there are so many things happening. i tell you what i believe in, clean air. i believe in crystal clear beautiful water. i believe in just having good cleanliness and all. the president said that. and i remind you, prime minister of india last week said climate change is one of the biggest problems facing our civilization. thank you very much. >> i'm not against cleanliness. you're watching velshi apd rule.
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ruhle." any minute the new health and human services secretary, alex azar, will be sworn in and we'll bring you to that live. >> as the president gets ready for the state of the union address, he and the congress have issues to tackle. d.r.e.a.m.ers, undocumented immigrants brought to the united states as children, without a new deal many could face deportation. just ten days away, another government funding fight. >> no, come on. >> stop. like the recent government shutdown, d.r.e.a.m.ers and border security are likely to be major obstacles. the white house is expected to formally release their immigration framework today, giving congress a short window to with up with the compromise. >> i went away when that last one happened and i thought it got sorted out. >> it was lindsey graham's that was dead on arrival. when you came back, stephen miller's was dead on arrival. >> never far from the conversation is the investigation into russian meddling in the u.s. election. several high level
administration personnel were interviewed this month. >> joining us now, republican congressman matt gaetz of the great state of florida. i want to start with robert mueller, because you have called upon -- you have said he should be terminated. what is it specifically, when i look at sort of robert mueller's credentials, i think he sort of seems like a stellar -- >> the first one being that he's a republican. marine corps officer in vietnam, u.s. attorney's office in san francisco, assistant u.s. attorney boston, homicide, u.s. attorney's washington, d.c., office, deputy attorney general and fbi director. what's not to like about this guy? >> nothing about his past. it's his present and projecting into the future that seem to reflect bias, particularly when you look at the members of his team that he's assembled. we have countless very talented prosecutors in our federal system. why you would go and pick people that have defended the clinton foundation, people attending hillary clinton's election night party. why not go with people who were separate from politics and to give the american people greater
confidence in this investigation, i don't know. but no republican has attacked robert mueller's past. it's the decisions he's made since being appointed special counsel we take exception with. >> congressman, if the issue is anybody that's been tied to hillary clinton, president trump himself -- hillary clinton was at president trump's wedding. jared and ivanka have been democratic donors. so has the president. gary cohn is a democrat. >> and he's in the white house. >> the fact that republicans and democrats can both work with each other and opposed to each other is in no way reflective of robert mueller and his team assembled have been assembled with the reflection of bias. our concern is that bias is reflected in whether it's andrew weissman's inclusion in the team or the various people that defended the clinton foundation. we say it ought to be fair and it doesn't seem to be that way. >> other republicans feel strongly about the same issues as you do think otherwise. they're voicing their confidence in robert mueller. well, here's a few examples. let's listen.
>> i think mr. mueller is the perfect guy to get to the bottom of all of this and he will. and i think my job, among others, is to give him the space to do it. i intend to do that. i've got legislation protecting mr. mueller, and i'll be glad to pass it tomorrow. >> it would certainly wouldn't hurt to put that extra safeguard in place given the latest stories. >> do you still trust after all you've heard, do you still trust special counsel robert mueller to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation? >> 100%, particularly if he's given the time, the resources and the independence to do his job. >> i mean trey gowdy, no friend of democrats. why are you on a different side of this? you said you have about 35 supporters in the house on this. >> sure. there are 35 republicans that have sent letters to get the memo released. that's a different question. we have a different group that's assembled concerning the robert mueller matter. but look, the republican party is a big tent. i'm presenting the evidence that
i think presents bias. if other folks are pleased with mr. mueller, they're entitled to that viewpoint but i don't think it disputes the facts of the people that have assembled appeared the tactics undertaken. >> let's talk about the memo. we have all sorts of views on this memo that nobody has seen. >> not nobody. 190 republicans have read it and almost no democrats have read it because democrats have been boycotting even going to read the memo. that seems to me to be pretty childish. >> well, the department of justice says releasing it is extraordinarily reckless and the president refers to the department of justice as my guys. so if his own department of justice says this is extraordinarily reckless, why is it a good idea to do it? >> well, the department of justice hasn't even read the memo so it would be hard for them to determine what would on would not be reckless because they haven't seen it. i think devin nunes has done a great job chairing the intelligence committee leading this investigation. i trust his judgment. >> i thought he recused himself. >> he had because there were false charges that he had released classified information
to the white house. there was an ethics investigation into that allegation. mr. nunes was completely cleared. >> has he made a formal announcement that he no longer recused himself? >> he seems to be in full command and control of this investigation. i think that's a good thing. all of the allegations made against him, completely proven false and he was completely cleared. he is the chairman of the intelligence committee and i trust his judgment. >> co-chairman, right? >> well, he's the chairman of the majority side. >> let's talk about on january 25th you said that if we -- on cnn if we ep as a premise that members of congress ought to take top secret documents and start reading them on the floor of the house of representatives, it will irreparably damage the sharing of information. how do you square that that you want this document out there that the justice department who determines what is top secret and what's not says don't let it go. >> the president is at the top of the executive branch. my argument is deviating from our normal processes, breaking the rules, just going rogue and
reading this memo on the floor of the congress as chris cuomo suggested would be reckless. i support following the proper procedures that are laid out under the rules of the house that allow the president to be able to object to any declassification would be the right way to go. ultimately, i think it's going to be good for the country if we have this memo out in public and we can debate its merits. we can come on and instead of speaking of generalities get into the specific actions that are taken and determine if that's the type of country we want to live in. >> is it not a concern that what if there's only some of the facts in there. what if things are cherry picked and the american people don't have information across the board. we're forced to accept what's given to us. if only a portion of the information is offered to us, how do we know if we're seeing the full picture? >> i'm always for getting more information. i think transparency is the b t antidote to corruption in government. by saying this may not be every fact that existed seems to be my
optic. i have an open source view. let's have a real discussion about what type of surveillance policies we want to have and let's have the right oversight. >> we're going to interrupt because we're going to take you to the roosevelt room where president trump is shaking hands just before he swears in the new health and human services secretary. >> alex azar, who, by the way, is replacing tom price. tom price going out amid some controversy about private jets that he was flying on when and in fact apparently he or at least members of his team could have been flying commercial. when he left office there was some pledge to repay americans fojtd mun for that money. we're not sure where that stands but for now let's listen in to the president. >> we've been looking for this day for a long time. i'm thrilled to be here to administer the oath of office to america's new secretary of health and human services, mr. alex azar. come here, alex. he's going to get those prescription drug prices way
down as a little bit of an extra, right? it's going to come rocketing down. alex is joined today by his father, alex. thank you, congratulations. of course i'll only say congratulations if he does a great job, right? which i know he will. which i know he will, huh? we have no doubt, you're right, i have none either. his wife jennifer, his daughter claire, his son alex, his sister stacy and her family and his sister-in-law beth and husband and numerous friends. thank you all for being here, we appreciate it. alex appreciates it. upon taking his oath of office, alex will take the helm of a department he has already served with tremendous distinction. first as general counsel and later as deputy secretary. in both those roles, alex was outstanding and an incredible public servant. people talk about him to this day. he was instrumental in improving the department's operations and advancing its emergency response
capabilities. alex knows inside and out the impact of government policy on patients, health care and prices. as the former president of lily usa, big company, great company, an incredible job, he brings invaluable experience. the department of health and human services has already achieved a great deal, rolling back regulations that drive up health care costs, but we have a long way to go. a lot of people are very happy with the amount we've done already, but alex is going to bring that to a big, brand new level. as our new secretary, alex will continue to implement the administrative and regulatory changes needed to ensure that our citizens get the affordable high quality care they deserve. he will help lead our efforts to confront the national emergency of addiction and death due to opioids, and i think we're going to be very tough on the drug companies in that regard and
very tough on doctors in that regard, because what's going on is pretty incredible. and finally, put an end to this plague on the lives of families and communities. people go in for a minor operation into a hospital, they come out and are addicted to opioids. they're addicted to drugs after a short period of time. we have to get the prices of prescription drugs way down and unravel the tangled web of special interests that are driving prices up for medicine and for really hurting patients. we're going to get that done. that's going to be so important. you look at other countries, they pay a fraction for the exact same drug. the exact same pill in an identical box from the same factory costs us much more, many times more than it does in other countries. and nobody knows that process better than alex. we're going to get it done
because it's very unfair to our country. neighboring countries pay a tiny fraction of what we pay for the same exact pill made in the same location. and, alex, i know there is no one more capable, qualified and committed than you to overcoming these incredible challenges, so important. and i will say this, prescription drug prices is going to be one of the big things. whenever i speak to alex, i speak to him about that, i think prior to anything else and i know you can do it. you know the system and you can do it because it's wrong. so now i'll ask vice president pence to formally administer the oath and again, i just want to congratulate alex and his family and god bless you all. he's got a very important job to do. so thank you. thank you for giving him to us and we'll give him the chance. but you gave him to us and we appreciate it very much. thank you. thank you. >> thank you, mr. president. [ applause ]
>> place your left hand on the bible, raise your right hand and repeat after me. i alex michael azar, ii, do solemnly swear that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> against all enemies, foreign and domestic. >> that i will bear truth faith and allegiance to the same. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> that i take this obligation freely. >> without any mental reservations. >> without any mental reservations. >> or purpose of evasion. >> or purpose of evasion. >> and i will well and faithfully sdhaurj tdischarge t of the office upon which i am about to enter so help me god. >> so help me god.
>> what an honor it is today to become the 24th secretary of health and human services here in the united states. only in america, the grandchild and great grandchild of immigrants from lebanon, from the ukraine, from england, switzerland, gets to have that opportunity. mr. president, thank you so much for the confidence that you have bestowed upon me and the incredible department you have entrusted me with. mr. vice president, thank you for your many years of friendship and for administering the oath today. and to my family, to jennifer and the rest of my family, thank you for all of the -- >> he is becoming the secretary of health and human services. you and i have mixed feelings. we say this guy has real experience in the pharmaceutical
industry, which is probably one of the biggest issues that needs to be dealt with in our health care system and he has real government experience, that's the good part. i worry about the degree to which in this administration industry people get chosen over everybody else. >> i understand. >> that's a track record, they know what they're talking about. >> but one of the issues that we face in the financial industry and one of the reasons we have seen regulation fail is because you have regulators who simply don't know the content. there was a lot of criticism when gary genzler took over the ctc because he was the ceo of goldman sachs. he ended up being highly impactful because he truly understood the industry. the people who didn't like gary again genzler were his former colleagues from goldman and others who said, wait a minute, this guy knows the secrets. we don't want him on the other side. i'm not saying alex azar personally is the right guy, but there is a case to be made that there are individuals who understand the business side and the government side and so, you know --
>> i think you're right. i think generally speaking, though, a whole bunch of people in industries -- no industry willingly regulates itself and he's still pretty tied to it. >> should someone who's been a career lobbyist for 30 years turn around and be the regulatory body against that industry? no. but i think there's gray area. when the president delivers his first formal state of the union address tomorrow, he's going to be performing one of the most familiar presidential rituals. >> even though president trump doesn't do anything the way his predecessors do, there have been many memorable moments. here are just a few of them dating back to franklin delano roosevelt. >> as a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are soft hearted, but we cannot afford to be soft headed. >> this administration today here and now declares
unconditional war on poverty in america. >> i believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. one year of watergate is enough. >> i must say to you that the state of the union is not good. >> never has there been a more exciting time to be alive. a time of rousing wonder and heroic achievement, as they said in the film "back to the future," where are we going, we don't need roads. >> the era have big government is over. >> states like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil. >> i believe in change because i believe in you. the american people. and that's why i stand here as confident as i have ever been that the state of our union is strong. >> okay. and the president has just
started talking about his state of the union address. let's go back and listen in. >> it's going to be good. we worked on it hard, covered a lot of territory, including our great success with the markets and with the tax cut. it's a big speech, an important speech. we cover immigration. for many years, for many, many years they have been talking immigration and never got anything done. we're going to get something done. we hope. it's got to be bipartisan because the republicans really don't have the votes to get it done in any other way so it has to be bipartisan, but hopefully the democrats will join us or enough of them will join us so we can do something great for daca and for immigration generally. but it's going to be, i think, a very important speech on trade. the world has taken advantage of us on trade for many years and as you probably noticed, we're stopping that. we're stopping it cold and we have to. we have to have reciprocal trade. it's not a one-way deal anymore. so we have a lot of things to
discuss and we'll be discussing them and i hope you enjoy it. and thank you all very much. see you tomorrow night. >> are you going to bring senator schumer out here again? >> we might. >> all right then. joining us live, two men who served several of the presidents that you just saw there. andy card served as president george w. bush's chief of staff. he is now an msnbc political analyst. and hugh hewitt worked for president nixon and in the reagan white house. he is now the host of "the hugh houston show" on the salem radio network and an msnbc political analyst. hugh, i turn to you first. no surprise president trump wants to talk about the strength of the markets, deregulation, gary cohn penned that speech for him in davos. gary already has put out a piece with cnn today talking about the year we've had and how strong the economy is. but it's not fair to say that this is a united white house in terms of immigration and trade because how does a president simply say, you know, we've got
a lot to say when gary cohn and wilbur ross aren't even on the same page as it relates to nafta. trade hasn't been a one-way street. >> i was surprised to hear him say in that little preview that trade would be a big part of the speech tomorrow night. i will confirm a victory lap for beating isis and shoutout to neil gorsuch but mostly i'm looking for him to frame the daca deal. this is a unique opportunity for him to talk to democrats saying we have 1.8 million standing in line and you need to help me get them regularized and the border secure. of course he's going to talk about the markets. we talk about how he loves to talk about the markets. but framing that daca deal, that's what matters the most to me. >> but wouldn't it be premature if the president says we defeated isis? i think back to when george w. bush gave a state of the union address not long after 9/11. if president trump tries to run a victory lap and says we've
defeated isis, is that not an invitation? >> we have not defeated isis. we have done a phenomenal job of denying them safe haven, but they are still running around the world doing bad things. the war on terror continues. george w. bush talked about the war on terror. unfortunately we're still in the middle of it and i think we'll be in the middle of it for a very long time. but president trump does have some good news to talk about. the state of the economy is good. the state of the union is not so good. we've got d.r.e.a.m.ers who have a state of uncertainty. what's going to happen? they don't know. we have people who are suffering with opioid addiction who are scared to death and families are scared to death because it's an epidemic unlike any we've ever seen in this country. we have a political process that is dysfunctional, so i would say the state of the union is kind of muddled right now. clearly the president has good things to trumpet, no pun intended, and the economy is doing well. some of it is doing well because of president trump's actions on
deregulation and tax reform. so that's a good story. but there's still a lot of problems and he's got to lay out a plan where he invites people to be part of the solution. >> this is the point i want to get at and i'll ask you, and i'll ask you, hugh, as well. the president has great difficulty in doing this. in a tiny little preview in there he talked about immigration and he said nobody ever got anything done. the gop -- it needs to be bipartisan because the gop can't get the votes. he didn't say it needs to be bipartisan because health care should be bipartisan, because tax cuts should be bipartisan. when andy talked about inviting people in, he talked about trade. he said the world has taken advantage of us. by the way, having come back from davos, i asked every last person who was ever involved in a trade negotiation that and he said no one, hugh, walked out of a trade deal with the united states saying, ha, we got them. at some point this president is constitutionally incapable of, and i don't mean the u.s.
constitution, i mean his constitution, of bringing people into the fold, of inviting people in, of realizing that bipartisanship is a virtue unto itself. >> well, he needs nine or ten votes in the a 60-vote issue o immigration. that's why i think he was talking about needing democrats. and he's going to need some democrats in the house because there are some hardline -- it's a small number, but there are some hardline, anti-amnesty people who believe regularization of daca isme amnesty. the night before a state of the union, everyone's trying to get their paragraph jammed in. my old friend ray price used to tell me worst night of the year for speech writers. the parts he can't let go are those appeals to democrats to get the 60 votes in the senate. t this president's best speeches have been in poland, davos, and last year before congress. he usually delivers when he has a big moment like this.
if he stays focused on those 0i60 votes own the democrats, i think he'll deliver again. >> okay. good to talk to you guys. we look forward to seeing what actually happens in this speech. all right. when we come back, the me too movement has one of the biggest cultural flash points of the trump presidency, but the white house won't say if trump will address the topic during the state of the union. next, why trump's lack of messaging matters. you are watching "velshi & ruhle" live from washington, d.c. so that's the idea. what do you think?
i don't like it. oh. nuh uh. yeah. ahhhhh. mm-mm. oh. yeah. ah. agh. d-d-d... no. hmmm. uh... huh. yeah. uh... huh. in business, there are a lot of ways to say no. thank you so much. thank you. so we're doing it. yes. start saying yes to your company's best ideas. we help all types of businesses with money, tools and know-how to get business done. american express open.
welcome back to a special edition of "velshi & ruhle" live from washington. we're here because of the state of the union, of course, and president trump's speech comes right in the middle of the ground-breaking campaign that has gone worldwide, the me too movement. >> we come in peace, but we mean business. ♪ i hope you find your peace falling on your knees ♪ >> now that we've gone through this whole me too hashtag, people are starting to listen and realize it's all the time. >> women have decided that they want to take back the conversation. >> you told the world that time's up on violence. you told the world that time's up on silence. >> time's up!
>> time's up! >> are you a feminist? >> i wouldn't say i'm a feminist. i think that would be maybe going too far. i'm for women. i'm for men. i'm for everyone. >> wouldn't say he's a feminist. going too far. >> the white house is not saying whether president trump will weigh in on the me too or related time's up campaign, but several female democratic lawmakers say they will send a message of support by wearing all black, like celebrities did at the golden globes. other lawmakers will bring special guests, including survivors of sexual assault. joining us now, nbc news political reporter vivian salama. how difficult is it for the president to touch this topic? we're talking about a guy who has more than a dozen women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. we now have a porn star, stormy daniels, who talks about getting paid off a month before the election. and the list goes on. president trump had defended bill o'rielly. there's the "access hollywood"
tape. both sides of the aisle are getting rocked with sexual misconduct allegations. >> that's right. this is a really sensitive time and subject for the president in general because of the fact that leading up to the election he had a number of accusers and then more recently now there have been reports emerging that the president's lawyers paid off a porn star to silence her after a number of accusations after she wanted to come speak out against the president. so obviously this is a very sensitive subject for him. he has dismissed many of these accusations, both by accusers of sexual harassment and by the porn star, stormy daniels, saying it's all just lies and people trying to get media attention. but you know, it remains to be seen whether or not he addresses this. obviously this movement is sweeping the nation. it is something that is getting a lot of momentum. and it's not just the president who had accusers. obviously a number of members of congress now have also had these accusations thrown at them.
so obviously a very sensitive time, and it remains to be seen. the white house was asked if they plan to address it in the speech, and they did not really answer our question about that. >> i just want to remind our viewers, you know, if anyone out there has $130,000 that they want to send someone and give no reason for why they did so, please feel free to send it. >> we're available. what are we hearing about plans to make the me too movement present at the speech? >> it's hard to ignore it at this point. >> it is hard to ignore it. like you said, a number of democratic lawmakers are planning to wear black. they're also planning to invite various victims of sexual harassment. congresswoman jackie spear is one of the women who's spearheading this movement tomorrow. so you can expect to see a number of different types of statements in support and in solidarity with the sexual harassment victims. >> i realize what a thorny issue it is for the president, but is
it not a risk -- at this point, we've got more than 500 women running for major offices in 2018. that's a record number. i understand the president might want to avoid it, but we even talked about it last week. ivanka trump, who's always had woven into her brand, she used to have as her twitter bio, an advocate for the women and advancement of little girls. she erased that. the president doesn't like to talk about. isn't this an issue, saying the power issue of women is driving on forward? >> it's such a delicate issue. it's basically an elephant in the room for the president. on the one hand, he wants to avoid any accusations against them and dismisses them as false. on the other hand, obviously you cannot ignore this problem. obviously it's mounting now to levels that has become such a huge nationwide issue. you hear people even overseas now. you hear this issue in paris and other places acknowledging this problem. it's going to be time for him to really acknowledge this and do something about it, at least to
show some solidarity with the victims. >> she almost said time's up. >> interesting to see if it happens tomorrow night. vivian, thank you. thank you for watching this special hour in d.c. of "velshi & ruhle." i'm ali velshi. i'll be back at 3:00 eastern. >> i'm stephanie ruhle. thrilled to hand off to our friend and colleague andrea mitchell for "andrea mitchell reports." >> and right now on "andrea mitchell reports", job security. a growing divide in the republican party over whether congress should pass legislation to prevent the white house or justice department from firing robert mueller. >> it's pretty clear to me that everybody in the white house knows it would be the end of president trump's presidency if he fired many mueller. >> he's cooperating right now. >> would you support legislation to protect mueller? >> i don't think there's a need for legislation to protect mueller. if there's an issue that arises, we'll take it up at that time. why create an issue when there isn't a place for it? >> state secrets. house republicans could v